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Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill
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Someone Knows My Name (2007)

by Lawrence Hill

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,3271252,709 (4.33)285
  1. 20
    A mercy by Toni Morrison (tangentialine)
  2. 64
    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (Bcteagirl)
    Bcteagirl: The book has a similar familial tone and is also told from the point of view of young girls growing up in a difficult situation. I had been looking for a book with a similar writing style and was happy to find this one. If you liked The Book of Negroes I recommend The Poisonwood Bible and vice versa.… (more)
  3. 20
    A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (LDVoorberg)
  4. 10
    Epic Journeys of Freedom: Runaway Slaves of the American Revolution and Their Global Quest for Liberty by Cassandra Pybus (susanbooks)
    susanbooks: Pybus offers a brilliant nonfiction account of the events in Hill's novel, as well as extending the story to penal colonies in Australia.
  5. 10
    Slave: My True Story by Mende Nazer (_Lana_)
    _Lana_: If you enjoyed reading about slavery in a historical setting you might be interested in a true-tale of slavery’s modern form. Both books also have strong female protagonists.
  6. 10
    The Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African by Olaudah Equiano (tangentialine)
  7. 00
    The Classic Slave Narratives by Henry Louis Jr Gates (Cecilturtle)
  8. 00
    The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (vancouverdeb)
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» See also 285 mentions

English (116)  Dutch (6)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  All languages (124)
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
It's hard to know where to start with the book. It was intense, graphic, horrifying at times. But it was also such a powerful story, it was hard to put down.

The writing was superb, the author create Aminata's voice wonderfully. Her character felt very real and I couldn't help but fall into the book and become lost in it. While the alternating time jumps took a while getting used to, it did help break up the story, especially considering some of the scenes in the book. Which was my least favourite part of it. There's no way the book would be the book it is without everything that's in it, but there are some horrifying moments in the book.

Words are hard to come by to fully explain the book, it's one of those books you need to read and experience for yourself. The writing was lovely, the characters stick with you, the story is one t hat should be read by all. What an incredible read.

Also found on my book review blog Jules' Book Reviews - The Book of Negroes ( )
  bookwormjules | May 16, 2015 |
A true epic, The Book of Negroes chronicles the life of an African girl sold into slavery in the 1700s and the heartbreaking events which took her across a number of continents over the decades.

This was very much a plot driven book, which took me a good 100 pages or so to get properly into. The first person narrative felt limiting in places - I didn't often get to connect with the true emotions of the protagonist, and at the beginning it felt quite like an averagely written chronicling of events. The plot saved it for me, though, and the harrowing story of both her slavery and difficult conditions under freedom kept it gripping.

This book was initially sold under Someone Knows my Name in other countries, as the publishers felt The Book of Negroes was too contentious a title in some regions. However, this refers to a real historical document which detailed the coloured people, both free and indentured, who sailed in desperation from New York - where they feared they would be recaptured into slavery - to become part of the first settlers of the then British colony of Nova Scotia.

A powerful and heartbreaking story of a desperate period in history, this was an enjoyable book but not my favourite style of writing. ( )
1 vote AlisonY | May 6, 2015 |
LH tells a good story. #1 National Bestseller. ( )
  trudychar | Mar 20, 2015 |
One of the best books I've ever read. It was tough but Lawrence Hill did a great job writting a book about slavery. ( )
  dom76 | Jan 7, 2015 |
The novel tells the adventures of Aminata Dialla from when she was captured in her African village and walked for three months to the west African coast where she was loaded on a slave ship for the trip to America. We see her sold to an indigo plantation owner where she is protected by another slave until her master rapes her to show her he is her owner.

Sold to a Jewish Merchant, she becomes a domestic servant and eventually moves to New York fortunately before the American Revolution so that on the fall of British rule she is permitted to travel to Nova Scotia as a settler in the month of December.

Her next adventure is meeting the British abolitionist movement and its plans to move Blacks back to Africa in a free settlement funded by the movement. Always trying to get back to Africa and her village, Aminata jumps at the chance and becomes an important figure in the new colony of Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Eventually her skills as a communicator bring her to England where she assists with Wilberforce's efforts to end the slave trade in the British Empire.

Very readable novel that was difficult to put down. ( )
  lamour | Dec 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
With mature themes (e.g., a rape scene on the ship, descriptive killings, and sexual situations), this book is suited for older teens. Hill clearly researched multiple and sources to provide an accurate acount of Aminata's heroic journey and brings to life crucial world history. Teens who enjoyed Sharon Draper's Copper Sun will appreciate this page-turning novel.
added by Christa_Josh | editSchool Library Journal, Gregory Lum (Mar 1, 2008)
 
An unforgettable epic, seen through the eyes of a sharply realized, indomitable heroine.
added by Christa_Josh | editBooklist, Sarah Johnson (Oct 15, 2007)
 
Unfortunately, [Hill's] didactic purpose gets the upper hand and overwhelms the story. Aminata is simply too noble to be believable, and other major characters are mainly symbolic. Nevertheless, Hill's fascinating source material makes this a good choice for book clubs and discussion groups.
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, Edward St. John (Oct 1, 2007)
 
In depicting a woman who survives history's most trying conditions through force of intelligence and personality, Hill's book is a harrowing, breathtaking tour de force.
added by Christa_Josh | editPublishers Weekly (Sep 3, 2007)
 
Livet som slave: Velbalansert historisk fiksjon om slavehandelen og ondskapens banalitet
added by annek49 | editDagbladet, Cathrine Krøger (Jun 29, 2006)
 

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lawrence Hillprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Willems, IneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore choose life.

--Deuteronomy 30:19
So geographers, in Afric-maps,

With savage-pictures fill their gaps;
And o'er unhabitable downs
Place elephants for want of towns.
--Jonathan Swift
Dedication
For my daughter, and kindred spirit, Genevieve Aminata
First words
I seem to have trouble dying.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The Book of Negroes (2007), published as Someone Knows My Name in the U.S.A, Australia, and New Zealand.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Publisher Comments:
Abducted from Africa as a child and enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata Diallo thinks only of freedom—and of the knowledge she needs to get home. Sold to an indigo trader who recognizes her intelligence, Aminata is torn from her husband and child and thrown into the chaos of the Revolutionary War. In Manhattan, Aminata helps pen the Book of Negroes, a list of blacks rewarded for service to the king with safe passage to Nova Scotia. There Aminata finds a life of hardship and stinging prejudice. When the British abolitionists come looking for "adventurers" to create a new colony in Sierra Leone, Aminata assists in moving 1,200 Nova Scotians to Africa and aiding the abolitionist cause by revealing the realities of slavery to the British public. This captivating story of one woman's remarkable experience spans six decades and three continents and brings to life a crucial chapter in world history.
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Dreaming of escaping her life of slavery in South Carolina and returning to her African home, slave Aminata Diallo is thrown into the chaos of the Revolutionary War, during which she helps create a list of black people who have been honored for their service to the king.… (more)

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393065782, 0393333094

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